[Back to Index]

Lightly O Lightly

Aug 5, 2005

There is a stillness that comes from watching running water. As you listen to its beautiful babblings a contradictory quietness grows in you. Big stones and small boulders slippery with moss remind you of everything that is rough-edged and hard in your being, everything that sticks and refuses to flow. But see how the water sings when it stumbles over its impediments. (Impediments. I believe that's the first time I've ever used that word. I remember coming across it in Sonnet 116. Let me not to the marriage of true minds/Admit impediments. And I remember thinking Shakespeare and only Shakespeare could get away with using a word like that in a love sonnet (and a magnificent sonnet at that). Impediments. A word that sounds like what it is with syllables that seem to trip each other up. Im-ped-i-ments). So many impediments inside me. I can feel them like small boulders. And somehow coming up against them I don't always remember to sing. There is so much to learn in the stillness that comes from watching running water. The thin red thread of annoyance climbs in me sometimes like mercury rising. If the stream were to be so easily offended by its every obstacle there would be no beautiful babblings and only a stony silence instead. Its conscience is so clear that you can see the smooth waterpolished pebbles along its bed. They too were rough-edged once. I marvel for the first time at how something as form-less and fluid as streamwater can rub the corners off hard rock. So much is just a matter of persistence though- isn't it? And sometimes power is no more than the singleminded persistence of silverthroated soft-slippered persuasion. What in me flows like this ceaseless current and cares enough to polish little pebbles out of their imperfections? There is so much to learn from the stillness that comes from watching running water. It has never understood the concept of Time and in the wisdom of this profound innocence purchases eternity. A ballerina leaf loosens itself from the green canopy overhead. Spins and twirls in an elaborate windlifted sequence before landing with perfect grace on the water's surface (who watching would suspect that this was her first public performance ever- and her last?) To be that blithe along the path. That accepting and unfazed by what falls unexpectedly into your life. To bear its autumnleafburdens so lightly o lightly- like the palanquin bearers in Sarojini Naidu's old song...She skims like a bird on the foam of a stream, She floats like a laugh from the lips of a dream...

Gaily, O gaily we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.
Softly, O softly we bear her along,
She hangs like a star in the dew of our song;
She springs like a beam on the brow of the tide,
She falls like a tear from the eyes of a bride.
Lightly, O lightly we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.

Like pearls on a string. (No it probably doesn't get more cliched than that but what of it? The thing about cliches is that they originate in shared truths. Reminding us of the common threads of experience that bind us together).

There is so much to learn in the stillness that comes from watching running water.

[Back to Index]


Projects I'm Involved With

"Service doesn't start when you have something to give; it blossoms naturally when you have nothing left to take."

"Real privilege lies in knowing that you have enough."